There are two possibilities in Italian to tell where you are from: Sono di Londra or Vengo da Londra. What’s the difference? Learn the rule!
Where are you from?
To tell or ask about your origin, there are two expressions: essere di to be from and venire da to come from. These expressions are pretty similar in the meaning, but they are different in the use, since essere di can be only followed by your home town, but not by your home country. Let’s take a closer look at these two expressions:
1. ESSERE DI
Di dove sei?
Sono di Parigi.
As mentioned above, the expression essere di can be only followed by your home town, but not your home country.
|Di dove sei?||Where are you from?|
|Sono di Parigi.||I’m from Paris.|
|Sono francese, di Parigi.||I’m French, from Paris.|
|I’m from France.|
2. VENIRE DA
Da dove vieni?
– Vengo da Parigi.
– Vengo dalla Francia.
The expression venire da is more flexible and can be used both for saying your home city and your home country, without restrictions.
|Da dove vieni?||Where do you come from?|
|Vengo da Parigi.||I come from Paris.|
|Vengo dalla Francia.||I come from France.|
|Sono francese, vengo da Parigi.||I’m French, I come from Paris.|
Note that for your home country you have to combine the preposition with the definite article:
da + la Francia = dalla Francia
da + l’Italia = dall’Italia
Learn the names of countries and their articles with our vocabulary list countries, languages and nationalities.
Di dove sei? Da dove vieni?
As for the question, there is practically no difference between asking Di dove sei? or Da dove vieni? Normally, one answers using the same expression.
Da dove vieni? – Vengo da Parigi | Vengo dalla Francia.
Di dove sei? – Sono di Parigi.
To sum up, if you want to inform your conversation partner about your home country , you must say vengo da.
If you want to inform about your home city, you can both use sono di or vengo da.
Both don’t mix up the prepositions!
Wanna learn how to introduce yourself in Italian? Read our lesson Introduce yourself.